Complement activation leads primarily to membrane attack complex formation and subsequent target cell lysis. Protection against self-damage is regulated by complement regulatory proteins, including CD46, CD55, and CD59. Within their promoter regions, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are present that could influence transcription. We analyzed these SNPs and investigated their influence on protein expression levels. A single SNP configuration in the promoter region ofCD59was found correlating with lower CD59 expression on lung endothelial cells (p = 0.016) and monocytes (p = 0.013). Lung endothelial cells with this SNP configuration secreted more profibrotic cytokine IL-6 (p = 0.047) and fibroblast growth factor β (p = 0.036) on exposure to sublytic complement activation than cells with the opposing configuration, whereas monocytes were more susceptible to antibody-mediated complement lysis (p < 0.0001). Analysis of 137 lung transplant donors indicated that thisCD59 SNP configuration correlates with impaired long-term survival (p = 0.094) and a significantly higher incidence of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (p = 0.046) in the recipient. These findings support a role for complement in the pathogenesis of this posttransplant complication and are the first to show a deleterious association of a donorCD59promoter polymorphism in lung transplantation.
In this study, the authors show both a functional relation between a single promotor polymorphism in the CD59 gene, protein expression, and susceptibility to complement-mediated cell lysis, as well as a clinical relation of this genetic configuration in the donor and the risk for development of obstructive chronic lung allograft dysfunction in the recipient after lung transplantation.